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Rosenstein jokes at DOJ conference: Tell Trump 'his favorite deputy attorney general was here'
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made light on Wednesday of the tensions between himself and President Trump at a Justice Department conference in Kansas City.
"You let the president know that his favorite deputy attorney general was here," Rosenstein joked, referring to Trump's scheduled appearance at the tail end of the three-day conference Friday, The Kansas City Star reports.
In September, The New York Times published a bombshell report that Rosenstein had discussed the possibility of ousting Trump via the 25th Amendment and secretly taping conversations with the president.
Rosenstein has denied the report, but tensions have remained high between him and the president.
Rosenstein also appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate alleged collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia's efforts in interference in the election.
Trump has lambasted Mueller and his probe repeatedly, calling it a "witch hunt."
The special counsel has indicted 33 people and three companies on a variety of charges and is expected to release his final report soon.
Last week, Trump retweeted an image of various people related to the probe, including Rosenstein, behind bars.
Asked about the tweet in a Washington Post interview Trump said, "He should have never picked a Special Counsel."
He declined to answer a follow-up question regarding whether he intends to fire Rosenstein, which he has previously said he has no plans to do, despite criticizing him publicly in the past.
Rosenstein has joked about his tense relationship with the president on several occasions.
"Some technology experts castigate colleagues who engage with law enforcement to address encryption and similar challenges," Rosenstein said in remarks regarding tech companies and law enforcement last Thursday. "Just because people are quick to criticize you does not mean that you are doing the wrong thing."
"Take it from me," he quipped.